FIRE UPDATE: U.S. Forest Service Lifts More of the South Sugarloaf Fire Area Closure


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U.S. Forest Service Lifts More of the South Sugarloaf Fire Area Closure

Elko, NV., Sept. 6, 2018 – With the South Sugarloaf Fire reaching 97 percent containment, the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest is again reducing the fire area closure on the Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge Ranger District. The change takes effect today.

“We are excited to be reopening a lot of the closure area to the public,” said Josh Nichols, District Ranger for the Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge Ranger District. “We recognize the importance of access to your public lands.”

The new area closure includes all National Forest System (NFS) lands west of Nevada State Route 225 (Mountain City Highway), north of Elko County Road 732 (Jack Creek), and east of Elko County Road 785/Nevada State Route 226, and south of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Reservation boundary line. This only includes areas that are on National Forest System lands. The agency will continue to revisit the remaining closure area on a daily basis to see if additional sections of the closed area can be reopened. Wild Horse Crossing Campground remains closed.

With the new adjustment to the closure area, all of hunting areas 061 and 071 will now be open. Portions of 062 remain closed. Big Bend campground has opened for public use. Fire operations traffic still exist along the roadways and motorists are asked to continue using safe driving practices.

“I can’t stress how important it is for recreationists, hunters, and local residents to remain vigilant about safety hazards if they are near the fire’s burned area,” added Nicholes.

Wildfires dramatically alter the terrain and ground conditions. There are many hazards including damaged trees that are prone to falling, rolling rocks, and smoldering stumps. Significant rainstorms can cause floods and slides before vegetation regrows to hold the soil. Normally, vegetation absorbs rainfall, reducing runoff. However, wildfires leave the ground charred, barren, and unable to absorb water, creating conditions ripe for flash flooding and mudflow.

There still may be some smoldering vegetation that could be holding heat in the interior of the fire. Occasional smoke may be visible from the surrounding area. Please do not report the smoke, local fire agencies are keeping a close eye on the burned area to watch for any threat of spread.

Nicholes reminds the public fire danger remains extreme and that stage 1 fire restrictions are in place across the Mountain City-Ruby Mountains-Jarbidge Ranger District. 

Stage I Fire Restrictions include:

  • All campfires, charcoal grills, and stove fires (wood, charcoal, and coal burning) are only allowed in designated campgrounds/areas. Portable cooking stoves utilizing liquefied or bottled fuel sources continue to be allowed on public lands.
  • Smoking is only allowed in an enclosed vehicle, building, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is void of all flammable material, including vegetation.
  • Use caution when operating or parking vehicles in close proximity to vegetation.
  • No welding equipment may be used, including acetylene or open flame torches, except by permit.
  • Fireworks, exploding targets, and incendiary or tracer ammo are always prohibited on public lands.

For more detailed information on fire restrictions on Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, visit: